by Fred Miller
When watching a cable news story, you’ll usually see a chyron or “ticker tape” of information streaming right to left on the bottom of your television screen. Read that information and you miss the story on the main screen. It’s extremely annoying, isn’t it?
That distraction always goes away during commercials. Companies would pull their advertising if viewer interest was diverted by anything.
WE cannot Multi-Task!
Your AUDIENCE cannot Multi-Task!
Do not make them try!
It is a myth that we can truly multi-task. When trying, we quickly switch between tasks. Such constant switching leaves gaps and we miss “stuff.”
Knowing that your audience cannot focus on more than one thing at a time is important to developing and delivering your talk.
Use simple language that is immediately understandable. If words are unfamiliar, audience members will start searching the “database in their brains” for associations and meaning. As soon as that kind of activity occurs, you’ve lost them for a period of time, and they’ve missed part of your message.
Do not use lots of text and bullet points on PowerPoint slides. If you’re reading text or bullet points to attendees, they’re also reading--and are probably ahead of you. Because they’re trying to do two things at once (listening and reading), there is a disconnect. With that multi-tasking attempt, they will always miss something.
It is better to have your slides contain high-quality, universally understood images rather than text. You provide the “text” with your voice. Because most of us are visual learners, great images will help your audience GET IT!
Follow this advice for not making your audience multi-task, and your presentations will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!
Fred Miller (fred@NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com) is a Speaker, International Coach and Author. Businesses and individuals hire him to improve their public speaking and presentaiton skills.